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12 Natural Ways To Kill Prostate Cancer

November 23, 2016

Prostate Cancer


Prevention and inhibition of prostate cancer can include a number of lifestyle actions, and one
that men can engage in several times a day involves making certain food and supplement
choices. More specifically, there are various nutrients that have been shown to be effective in
protecting against prostate cancer and inhibiting its development or progression. Here are 12
natural prostate cancer killers you should include in your diet or supplement program.

1. AHCC.
Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is a proprietary medicinal mushroom extract
consisting of several species of Basidiomycete mushrooms, including shiitake. This supplement,
which is marketed primarily for people who have cancer, was developed and mainly researched
in Japan. In a study of AHCC in early stage prostate cancer, use of the supplement was
associated with prolonged PSA doubling time.

A case study of a man with castration-resistant prostate cancer showed an “excellent serologic
response to AHCC,” suggesting the supplement may be beneficial against this form of prostate

The producer of AHCC recommends taking 1 gram daily for general maintenance of the immune
system and 3 grams for specific conditions. Buy it here

2. Cayenne.
Chili peppers, aka cayenne peppers (Capsicum annuum) are a source of capsaicin, a substance
that not only provides the hot, spicy trademark of these vegetables but possesses prostate cancer
killing properties as well. In a recent study from Spain, researchers showed that capsaicin
induced the death of prostate cancer cells. More specifically, capsaicin increased factors involved
with autophagy, the natural destructive process of cells that takes apart dysfunctional
components. A previous study from UCLA School of Medicine reported that capsaicin inhibited
the growth of prostate cancer cells.


Cayenne powder is an effective way to take this supplement. You should begin with a small
amount (1/8 teaspoon) mixed in water taken two to three times daily and increased slowly.
Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning cayenne supplements. Buy it here

3. Cruciferous vegetables and DIM.

The wealth of variety in the cruciferous vegetable category makes eating these prostate cancer
killers an easy habit to adopt. The broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and other
members of this group are rich in a phytochemical known as DIM (3,3’-diindolylmethane). DIM
has been shown to be effective in inhibiting an enzyme involved in prostate cancer cell growth
and cell suicide (apoptosis) while not impacting healthy cells. Cruciferous vegetables also harbor
indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytochemical that protects DNA from damage, promotes apoptosis,
and prevents growth of cancer cells. (24, 18, 20-23) If you choose to use DIM and I3C
supplements, recommended dosages are 14 mg DIM and 80 t0 160 mg for I3C. Buy it here


4. Curcumin.

This bioactive ingredient found in the spice turmeric has been widely studied for its anticancer
properties. Curcumin has been shown to fight prostate cancer on several fronts. For example, it
induces cell death, reduces expression of receptors for sex hormones (which interferes with
cancer growth), and inhibits the spread of cancer cells.

Recent research published in the International Journal of Oncology noted that curcumin was
effective in fighting cancer-associated fibroblasts, which are key in the malignant progression of

Use curcumin liberally in your food, including soups and stews, on vegetables and grains, and in
smoothies. As a supplement, consider taking a highly absorbable form of curcumin as directed
on the package. Buy it here


5. Ginger.
It’s only been a few years since researchers discovered that whole ginger extract can be helpful
in the management of prostate cancer. In that important study, scientists observed that ginger
inhibited cancer cell growth and tumor growth, promoted apoptosis, and inhibited cell life
progression (cell cycling) in mice. Numerous subsequent studies have supported these findings,
including a University of Texas at Austin study in which a team demonstrated how 6-shogaol, a
potent compound in ginger, reduced survival, inhibited tumor growth, and induced cell suicide in
both human and mouse prostate cancer cells.
Thus far there’s no decision about an effective dosage of ginger for men who want to help
prevent prostate cancer. Based on what has been shown to be effective in mice, 648 mg per day
may be suggested for a 176-pound man (8.1 mg per 2.2 lb). Buy it here

6. Green tea.

The polyphenols in green tea known as catechins inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells, as
demonstrated in both laboratory and human studies. For example, one trial showed that catechins
in green tea were 90 percent effective in preventing prostate cancer in men who had pre-
malignant lesions. (45) The men in the study took 200 mg of green tea catechins three times
daily for one year. Numerous laboratory studies have pointed to the benefits of green tea and its
catechins in prostate cancer, including a University of Toledo (Ohio) study in which the main
catechin in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), was noted to “provide protective
effects against inflammation in the prostate and benefit prostate cancer treatment.”

The amount of EGCG in each cup of green tea can vary greatly depending on the brand, form of
the tea, how you prepare it, where it was grown, and so on. You may get as much as 180 mg
EGCG per cup, but don’t always count on it. When drinking green tea, you can get the most
EGCG from each cup if you do the following:

 Choose a quality brand of matcha (powdered or supplement) or loose leaf green tea from
Japan or China.
 Brew the tea in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t use milk in your tea because it
may reduce its antioxidant value.

Buy it here

7. Modified citrus pectin.

Most plants, and especially citrus, have the complex fiber known as pectin. To improve the
bioavailability of citrus pectin, scientists developed a modified version, which makes it highly
water-soluble and able to attach itself to certain molecules that can inhibit cancer cells. In
addition, a small study indicated that modified citrus pectin can increase the prostate-specific
antigen (PSA) doubling time in men with prostate cancer who did not respond to localized
treatment. Seven of 10 men in the study experienced the increase after taking modified citrus
pectin for 12 months.

Modified citrus pectin supplements should be taken without food. A suggested dosage is 5 to 15
grams per day. Buy it here

8. Omega-3.
You may recognize cold water fish such as sardines, herring, salmon, and tuna as great good
sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but did you know that these fats (especially eicosapentaenoic
acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) may be associated with a lower risk of developing
prostate cancer? That was the finding of a New Zealand study involving 317 prostate cancer
cases and 480 healthy controls, although not all studies of omega-3 and prostate cancer have
come to the same conclusion.

Although research findings are conflicting, a recent Canadian review reported there may be an
association between higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids and reduced prostate cancer mortality.

To take advantage of the cancer-fighting powers of omega-3s, you need to eat several servings of
cold water fatty fish every week. You also can consider taking a high-quality fish oil supplement
that delivers at least 700 mg of EPA and 500 mg of DHA daily. Buy it here

9. Pomegranate.
The pomegranate may be a challenging fruit to break into and eat, but it also has shown a tough
side when it comes to fighting prostate cancer. A University of California Riverside review
pointed out that pomegranate juice and extracts have been shown to significant interfere with the
growth of prostate cancer cells in the cultures as well as in animals. Three components found in
the fruit—ellagic acid, luteolin, and punicic acid—have demonstrated an ability to inhibit the
growth and spread of prostate cancer. In men with prostate cancer, pomegranate juice and extract
were able to extend PSA doubling time.
Many men find it easier to enjoy pomegranate as a juice, although you should limit your intake
because of its high sugar content. Pomegranate extracts standardized for punicalagins (a
bioactive ingredient) are readily available. Suggested dosage for prevention of prostate cancer is
80 to 120 mg daily. Buy it here

10. Quercetin.
Fruits, vegetables, and flowers can thank the plant pigment quercetin for their colors. Studies of
this flavonoid, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, have focused on
laboratory and animal studies and thus far have uncovered its ability to reduce the growth of
prostate cancer cells and put the brakes on substances called oncogenes, which can transform
normal cells into tumor cells.

Experiments using human prostate cancer cells have revealed that quercetin can induce DNA
damage and the death of these cells.

Quercetin supplements are available as pills and capsules and frequently are combined with
bromelain, another natural anti-inflammatory. A suggested dosage is 500 mg daily for preventive
purposes and at least twice that amount as a complementary prostate cancer dose. Buy it here

11. Resveratrol.
You likely recognize resveratrol as the antioxidant found in red wine and red grapes and a
supplement lauded for its antiaging qualities. But resveratrol also has demonstrated cancer-
fighting abilities, particularly in the lab using human prostate cancer cells and in animal studies.
In an early study, resveratrol was named as the most potent of four wine polyphenols against
prostate cancer cells. Numerous subsequent studies have shown that resveratrol can inhibit
prostate cancer progression, protect DNA, fight inflammation and free radicals, and reduce
tumor development and volume.
Resveratrol supplements are available, but be sure to look for pure resveratrol. The suggested
dosage is 20 to 250 mg daily. Buy it here

12. Vitamin D.

Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, so it makes sense to prevent such cell damage. Vitamin D
is a substance that have an impact on at least 200 human genes that are involved in regulating
cell proliferation, development, and apoptosis. Numerous studies have shown that vitamin D
status has a direct effect on cancer risk. Men who have higher levels of vitamin D, for example
have a lower risk of deadly prostate cancer. (25,26) Vitamin D is best obtained via exposure to
sunlight and supplementation. Men should have their blood level of vitamin D checked and take
steps to keep it within a healthy range of 50 to 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Buy it here


AHCC research. What is AHCC?

Aucoin M et al. Fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer: a systematic review.
Integrative Cancer Therapy 2016 Jun 29

Bettuzzi S et al. Chemoprevention of human prostate cancer by oral administration of green tea
catechins in volunteers with high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia: a preliminary report
from a one-year proof-of-principle study. Cancer Research 2006 Jan 15; 66(2):1234-40

Carter LG et al. Resveratrol and cancer: focus on in vivo evidence. Endocrine Related Cancer
2014 May 6; 21(3): R209-25

Downey M. A natural arsenal for prostate cancer prevention. Life Extension 2013 December

Du Y et al. Curcumin inhibits cancer-associated fibroblast-driven prostate cancer invasion

through MAOA/mTOR/HIF-a1 signaling. International Journal of Oncology 2015 Dec; 47(6):

Guess BW et al. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) increases the prostate-specific antigen doubling
time in men with prostate cancer: a phase II pilot study. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Disease
2003; 6(4): 301-4

Kampa M et al. Wine antioxidant polyphenols inhibit the proliferation of human prostate cancer
cell lines. Nutrition and Cancer 2000; 37(2):223-33.

Karna P et al. Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer. British Journal of Nutrition
2012 February; 107(4):473-84.

Khan N et al. Apoptosis by dietary agents for prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.
Endocrine Related Cancer 2010 Mar; 17(1):R39-52.

Liu KC et al. The roles of endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial apoptotic signaling
pathway in quercetin-mediated cell death of human prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Environmental
Toxicology 2014 Apr; 29(4):428-39

Mori A et al. Capsaicin, a component of red peppers, inhibits the growth of androgen-
independent, p53 mutant prostate cancer cells. Cancer Research 2006 Mar 15; 66(6): 3222-29
Mukherjee S et al. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate suppresses proinflammatory cytokines and
chemokines induced by Toll-like receptor 9 agonists in prostate cancer cells. Journal of
Inflammation Research 2014 Jun 17; 7:89-101

Nair HK et al. Inhibition of prostate cancer cell colony formation by the flavonoid quercetin
correlates with modulation of specific regulatory genes. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory
Immunology 2004 Jan; 11(1):63-69.

Norrish AE et al. Prostate cancer risk and consumption of fish oils: a dietary biomarker-based
case-control study. British Journal of Cancer 1999 Dec; 81(7):1238-42.

Ramos-Torres A et al. The pepper’s natural ingredient capsaicin induces autophagy blockage in
prostate cancer cells. Oncotarget 2016 Jan 12; 7(2): 1569-83

Teiten MH et al. Chemopreventive potential of curcumin in prostate cancer. Genes Nutrition

2010 Mar; 5(1):61-74.

Turner J, Chaudhary U. Dramatic prostate-specific antigen response with activated hemicellulose

compound in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Anticancer Drugs 2009 Mar; 20(3):

Wang L et al. Pomegranate and its components as alternative treatment for prostate cancer.
International Journal of Molecular Science 2015 Aug 25; 15(9): 14949-66

Yuan H et al. Suppression of the androgen receptor function by quercetin through protein-protein
interactions of Sp1, c-Jun, and the androgen receptor in human prostate cancer cells. Molecular
and Cellular Biochemistry 2010 Jun

Prostate Cancer-Fighting Foods

Medically reviewed by Dr. Paul Song M.D

Some foods and spices contain compounds and properties that put them in the category of
cancer-fighting foods. That means you have an opportunity to fight cancer—prostate cancer,
lung cancer, stomach cancer, and more—every time you have a meal, snack, or beverage if you
include some of these natural cancer slayers in your daily diet. Research into the anticancer
abilities of various foods and spices has revealed some have more potential to prevent or reduce
the risk of certain cancers than others. With that in mind, here is our list of cancer fighting foods
you should include in your daily diet as much as possible.


Which Cancer-Fighting Foods Should You Enjoy Often?

Check out the cancer-fighting properties of the following foods which are included as part of the
Prostate Health Diet:

 Apple peels. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, much of that is likely true only if you keep
the peel on the fruit. Apple peels are a super source of antioxidants, yet many people discard
them, especially if they have chosen conventionally grown apples, which is a good reason to go
organic! Even if you have nonorganic apples, scrub the skin well and enjoy the cancer-fighting
properties of the peel.

Research has shown a significant decline in growth and viability of human prostate cancer cells
when exposed to apple peel extract. The authors of this investigation concluded that their data
“suggested that APE [apple peel extract] possesses strong antiproliferative effects against cancer
cells, and apple peels should not be discarded from the diet.” Other research concerning breast
and colon cancers showed that apple peel was more effective than apple flesh in causing cell

 Carrots. Could carrots be effective against prostate cancer? A study from the University of York
has suggested that a diet rich in vitamin A makes the disease easier to treat, and beta-carotene-
rich carrots may do the trick. Carrots, which also have a cancer-fighting substance called
falcarinol that inhibits cell proliferation, have already been associated with a reduced risk of
various cancers, including colon, bladder, throat, mouth, and stomach.

The University of York researchers discovered that retinoic acid, a substance made from vitamin
A, can interfere with the ability to cancer cells to invade adjacent tissue. According to the study’s
lead author, Professor Norman Maitland, “We have found that specific twin genes are turned off
in malignant prostate cancer stem cells. When we turn them back on using retinoic acid, the
cancer becomes less aggressive.”

 Cayenne peppers. Cayenne peppers provide capsaicin, a substance that has demonstrated its
cancer fighting abilities in several areas. In one laboratory study from 2007, for example,
capsaicin slowed the growth of prostate cancer cells and prompted apoptosis (cell suicide),
while a subsequent study found similar results regarding apoptosis and prostate cancer cells.
Other animal studies have shown that capsaicin can suppress the invasion and migration of
prostate cancer cells as well as significantly slow their growth. A 2015 effort revealed that
combining oral capsaicin and radiotherapy resulted in better growth delay and reduction in
prostate cancer than did either capsaicin or radiotherapy alone in human prostate cancer cells.
 Coffee. Dozens of studies have examined the impact of drinking coffee on the risk of prostate
cancer. Two meta-analyses can help consolidate the findings thus far. One involved 13 studies
and 539,577 participants and found a lower risk of cancer of 2.5 percent for every 2 cups
consumed per day. Another reported that coffee intake could reduce the incidence of prostate
cancer and that several factors could explain this benefit. Among them was the ability of
caffeine to prevent oxidative DNA damage or impact the cell suicide response, while others
suggest some of coffee’s bioactive components, including cafestol and kahweol, have anticancer
 Cranberries. These tart little fruits have demonstrated an ability to fight cancer on several levels
as the whole fruit (or whole fruit extract) rather than individual components of the cranberry. A
2016 update on cancer and cranberries emphasized that the fruits are induce cell suicide
(apoptosis), reduce cell proliferation, impact cell damage from oxidation, and modify cell
 Cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower,
Brussel sprouts, and kale, among others, contain several compounds shown to fight cancer. One
is the chemical indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient that is a precursor to diindolylmethane
(DIM), another indole and phytonutrient. Together, I3C and DIM promote metabolism of
estrogen, a cancer-promoting hormone, into a safer version.

Cruciferous vegetables, and especially broccoli sprouts, are also a source of the phytochemical
sulforaphane, which has been shown to promote the production of enzymes that fight cancer-
causing agents. Two more cancer-fighting compounds, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in
cruciferous vegetables as well. Lutein, for example, has demonstrated activity against prostate
cancer and colon cancer. Be sure to include broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables as a regular
part of a cancer prevention diet.


 Fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) is a spice that is valued not only in
the kitchen but in the gym for its ability to improve muscle strength and endurance. But
researchers also discovered fenugreek has anticancer properties against prostate cancer, among
others. Experts have shown that fenugreek inhibits prostate cancer cell lines but does not
bother normal healthy cells. Fenugreek seeds can be added to a variety of vegetable and grain
 Flaxseeds. These tiny seeds have up to 800 times more lignans than other foods. Why is this
important? Lignans are plant components that have strong anti-estrogenic effects, which means
they can block the effects of estrogen and thus help lower the risk of hormone-associated
cancers, such as prostate cancer. Research has indicated, for example, that flaxseed-derived
enterolactone (a lignin) may interfere with prostate cancer cell proliferation. Sprinkle flaxseeds
on salads, vegetables, and cereals and add them to smoothies.
 Foods rich in phytates. Phytates (aka inositol hexakisphosphate [IP6]) are antioxidants present
in beans, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. Among the benefits of phytates are their ability to stop
the proliferation of prostate cancer cells, fight inflammation, and help prevent cardiovascular
disease. When it comes to fighting cancer, phytates trigger differentiation of cancer cells,
causing them to transform back to behaving more like healthy, normal cells. When phytate-rich
foods are consumed, the antioxidant is rapidly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and they
quickly attracted to malignant cells.

One concern raised about phytates is that they can attach themselves to calcium, iron,
manganese, and zinc and slow their absorption. However, experts such as Andrew Weil, MD,
have noted that phytates shouldn’t be a problem if you eat a balanced diet.

 Garlic. Garlic does more than keep vampires away—the popular herb also contains allium
compounds that enhance the activity of immune system cells designed to fight cancer. These
compounds, called dialyl sultides, may block carcinogens from getting into cells and also slow
the development of tumors. People who regularly eat raw or cooked garlic may enjoy about half
the risk of stomach cancer and two-thirds the risk of colorectal cancer when compared with
people who eat little or no garlic, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical

Garlic also takes a potent strike against prostate cancer. An analysis of nine epidemiological
studies found that allium vegetables, and especially garlic, were associated with a decreased risk
of prostate cancer. Garlic is a versatile herb that can easily be incorporated into a cancer-fighting

 Licorice. When we refer to licorice as a cancer-fighting food, we are not talking about the sweet
licorice whips you may enjoy at the movie theater but all-natural licorice root. Thus far, research
indicates that components of licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra and licochalcone-A) can induce cell
death as well as autophagy—destruction of dysfunctional cells such as cancer cells.

A novel way to enjoy licorice may be roasting the root. A recent study found that an ethanol
extract of roasted licorice was more potent and effective than unroasted licorice in inhibiting the
growth of prostate cancer cells. More research needs to be done, but the findings led the authors
to note that “roasted rather than un-roasted licorice should be favored as a cancer preventive
agent” and it remains to be seen whether it should be “used as an additive to food or medicine


 Mushrooms. A number of different mushrooms have demonstrated cancer-fighting properties

against various cancers. The anticancer abilities are attributed to polysaccharides, including beta
glucan, which enhance the immune system and strengthen it against cancer. Mushrooms also
contain complex protein/sugar molecules called lectin, which have an ability to prevent cancer
cells from multiplying. Another compound in mushrooms is ergosterol peroxide, which can
inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells and prompt apoptosis, according to a study reported
in Chemico Biological Interactions.

The turkey tail mushroom was found to be completely effective in preventing development of
prostate tumors in mice in an Australian study. The reason was attributed to a compound called
polysaccharopeptide (PSP), which targets prostate cancer stem cells and interferes with tumor

 Orange bell peppers. Bell peppers come in a variety of colors and all are excellent sources of
vitamins and minerals. However, a study of the antiproliferative and antioxidant activities of
common vegetables revealed that consumption of orange bell peppers in particular can reduce
prostate cancer cell growth by as much as 75 percent. The investigators in the study also
emphasized, however, that’s important to eat a wide variety of vegetables since they tend to
target different cancers.
 Rye. Which bread should you choose, wheat or rye? If you are interested in protecting your
prostate, the answer is rye. One reason is that of all the whole grains, rye contains the most
lignans, which are anticancer plant compounds. Another may be the findings of a 2012 study
which noted that adolescent boys who ate rye bread daily had a pronounced reduced risk of
advanced prostate cancer in later life. This follows other research that has indicated that dietary
patterns set during the first 20 years set a pattern for cancer development in later years.
But don’t despair if you are well past your teens and twenties or even if you have prostate
cancer. Researchers randomly had men with prostate cancer eat rye bread or wheat bread (with
similar fiber content) daily for three weeks. Analysis of prostate biopsies both before and after
the three weeks showed an increase in cancer cell death (apoptosis) in the rye bread group but
not in the wheat bread group. When you have a choice, choose rye bread or other rye products
over other grains.

 Tomatoes. Tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene, a phytonutrient and antioxidant
that is especially concentrated in tomatoes that are cooked or processed, as in tomato sauce or
tomato juice. Numerous studies have explored the relationship between tomatoes and lycopene
and the fight against cancer. One of the largest and earliest ones involved nearly 48,000 men. In
that study, the researchers found that men who consumed the most tomatoes and tomato
products had a 35% lower risk of developing prostate cancer and a 53% reduced risk of getting
aggressive prostate cancer. In a follow-up to this study published 7 years later, the investigators
confirmed that “frequent consumption of tomato products is associated with a lower risk of
prostate cancer.”

Skip ahead to 2016, when the authors of a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
reported on the findings of a 23-year follow-up effort that involved 5,543 men diagnosed with
prostate cancer. The team discovered that increased intake of tomato sauce was associated with a
decreased risk of prostate cancer overall (at least 2 servings per week vs less than 1 serving per
month) and that increasing amounts of lycopene intake was associated with a decreased risk of
two subtypes of prostate cancer.


 Turmeric. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is considered an anticancer food and spice because it
possesses a variety of important cancer fighting properties. In the January 2012 issue of
Frontiers of Bioscience, for example, the authors remarked that curcumin, the active ingredient
in turmeric, “appears to involve a blend of anti-carcinogenic, pro-apoptotic, anti-angiogenic,
anti-metastatic, immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities.” In other words, curcumin seems
to fight cancer from multiple fronts.

Some of those fronts have been demonstrated in studies like one from a German team headed by
Dr. Beatrice Bachmeier at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU) in Munich. Using a mouse
model, the scientists evaluated the effectiveness of curcumin in preventing the spread
(metastasis) of prostate cancer and tried to determine how it might achieve this goal. They
discovered that curcumin reduces the expression of two pro-inflammatory proteins (cytokines
CXCL1 and CXCL2) involved in prostate cancer, and in the mice curcumin caused a reduction
in the incidence of metastases.

Based on these findings, Bachmeier has suggested curcumin may help prevent prostate cancers
and stop their ability to spread. She warned, however, that “This does not mean that the
compound should be seen as a replacement for conventional therapies…but curcumin] could
play a positive role in primary prevention.” An extra bonus is that curcumin has been shown in
many studies to be well tolerated (in doses up to 8 grams taken daily), so side effects are not a
major issue.
A study from Thomas Jefferson University experimented with curcumin in mice and in prostate
cancer cell samples. Their findings indicated that curcumin might help slow the progression of
tumor growth in men with hormone-resistant prostate cancer. Curcumin appeared to be effective
because it increased the results of hormone therapy, reduced the number of prostate cancer cells
when compared with hormone therapy alone, and inhibited the cell cycle and survival or prostate
cancer cells.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative
Medicine, unless you have inflammatory bowel disease, the best way to reap the benefits of
turmeric is by adding it to your diet.


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Diet, Nutrition, and Lifestyle

Foods to Avoid if You Have Prostate Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. Paul Song M.D

Common foods that may cause prostate cancer could be in your fridge and pantry right now. It is
important to be an informed shopper so you can know where your food is coming from and how
it is packaged to avoid hormones, chemicals, and carcinogens. Here is what you need to know
about common foods to avoid for prostate cancer whether you have been diagnosed with prostate
cancer or are concerned about prevention.

Which Foods to Avoid for Prostate Cancer?

If you have been newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, watching what you eat and following
The Prostate Diet can help with your longevity and immunity. Here’s a list of foods to avoid for
prostate cancer because they may increase inflammation, come with chemicals and hormones, or
may encourage cancer growth.

Artificial Sweeteners
In 2009, researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah deciphered part of
the process by which tumor cells use more glucose (sugar) than normal cells, a fact that has been
known since 1923. Both sugar and artificial sweeteners have been shown in studies and trials to
be a potential “precursor” for cancer growth but despite this, the FDA and other government
bodies continue to allow these artificial sweeteners in our foods. These include aspartame
(Equal, NutraSweet), cyclamate (banned in the US because of link to cancer but used in some
other countries), neotame, saccharin (Sweet ‘n Low), and sucralose (Splenda).

Although there are no studies directly linking intake of artificial sweeteners with cancer in
humans, countless animal studies have, including several from Italian researchers associating
sucralose with leukemia in mice. Because of the uncertainty concerning the cancer-causing
impact of artificial sweeteners, as well as their negative impact on gut bacteria and metabolism,
it’s recommended you avoid them.


Calcium and Dairy Foods

Dairy foods are a source of many nutrients, but most notably calcium and protein. When it comes
to prostate cancer, one concern is with the amount of calcium men get from dairy, as calcium
intake has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, investigators
examined the diets of 142,251 men and especially their intake of animal foods, protein, and
calcium. After an average of 8.7 years of follow-up, 2,727 men had been diagnosed with prostate
cancer. Of the men with prostate cancer, 1,131 had localized disease while 541 had advanced
stage prostate cancer. The dietary data analysis indicated that calcium found in dairy foods (but
not other foods) and a high intake of dairy protein were both associated with an increased risk of
prostate cancer. The results supported the authors’ hypothesis: “that a high intake of protein or
calcium from dairy products may increase the risk for prostate cancer.”

The risk of developing prostate cancer appears to begin early in life. One study found that
adolescent boys who drank milk daily had a more than threefold increased risk of developing
advanced prostate cancer later in life.

Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Products

Although tomatoes and tomato products support and promote prostate health, especially because
of their high lycopene content, you should avoid tomato foods packaged in cans. The resin
linings of aluminum cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a synthetic estrogen that can
leach into the tomatoes because they are acidic. BPA is associated with an increased risk of
cancer and other health problems. There are a few companies that are starting to make BPA-free
canned tomatoes. They are harder to find, but look for aseptic BPA-free packaging or glass.

Fried, barbecued, and cured chicken are high on Dr. Michael Gregor’s list of foods for men to
avoid because of the carcinogenic compounds that can be present in these items. In a study of
1,294 men with prostate cancer, for example, greater consumption of poultry with skin was
associated with a twofold increased risk of disease progression. One explanation for this danger
is that poultry with skin has high levels of heterocyclic amines, mutagens found in much greater
concentrations in well-done poultry than in other meats. Heterocyclic amines have been shown to
induce prostate cancer in rats and attach to and damage DNA in cultured human prostate tissue.

Whether they are fried, boiled, poached, or over easy, eggs aren’t so easy on your health. Whole
eggs are a rich source of choline, a nutrient that has been associated with a greater risk of
prostate cancer. While cooked fresh eggs contain nearly 300 mg per egg, dried eggs provide
more than four times that amount. Eating whole eggs has been associated with a twofold
increased risk of prostate cancer progression. Researchers suggest this higher risk is associated
with the high level of choline. Choline concentrations are higher in malignant prostate cells than
in healthy cells. A Harvard School of Public Health study noted that among the 47,896 men in its
study, intake of choline was associated with an increased risk of deadly prostate cancer.


Farmed Salmon
It’s common knowledge that salmon is a good source of the healthy fat, omega-3 fatty acids.
However, you want the benefits of those fats without the negative effects from farmed salmon.
Farmed salmon are crammed into pens, fed soy and fishmeal (which is high in contaminants),
dosed with antibiotics, and colored with artificial dyes to make them pink. The result is fish that
are lower in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, and higher in contaminants (e.g., PCBs,
brominated flame retardants, dioxin, DDT) than wild salmon.
Farmed salmon is not the only farmed fish that should be avoided, because the way they are
raised is similar for other types of fish as well. Verify the source of any fish you buy.

French Fries and Potato Chips

Who doesn’t love the taste of fried potatoes? Unfortunately French fries and potato chips are
some of the most unhealthy foods you can eat. You don’t need us to tell you that they are filled
with saturated fat and salt, but they also contain acrylamide, which is a possible carcinogen.
Boiling or other forms of cooking potatoes do not cause acrylamide to form—just frying. Also,
nonorganic potatoes are one of the most contaminated foods. They absorb herbicides, pesticides,
and fungicides from the soil. These toxins cannot be washed off because they are in the flesh of
the potato. When you buy potatoes choose organic and bake or boil them instead frying.

Nonorganic Meats
Nonorganic meat contains antibiotics, steroids, and other hormones. About two-thirds of the
cattle in the U.S. are given testosterone and estrogen to increase growth and meat yield. The
residues from these hormones in the meat may promote the development of prostate cancer.
Cows who are not raised organically are fed foods that are not part of their natural diet of grass,
including corn, soybeans, and other grains to fatten them up. All of this is bad news for your

Insulin-like grown factor (IGF-1) is a hormone found in meat and dairy products that may
increase risk of prostate cancer. A study by the university of Oxford team discovered that men
with high levels of IGF-1 were up to 40% more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with
low levels of the hormone.

Nonorganic Potatoes
Potatoes can be a very good nonfat, high-fiber food choice, but beware: they are exposed to
several doses of poisons. Potatoes absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides from the soil,
they are treated with fungicides while they are growing, the vines are sprayed with herbicides
before harvest, and then once the potatoes are dug up, they are treated again to prevent them
from sprouting. You cannot wash away the chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh of
the potato. The only safe solution is to buy organic potatoes. When you eat out, chances are the
potatoes on the menu won’t be organic, so choose wisely.

Red and Processed Meats

A link between red meat and processed meats and cancer has been well established. According to
the World Health Organization (WHO), processed meats (e.g., bacon, sausage, bologna) are a
class 1 carcinogen, which means there is strong evidence that they cause cancer. Red meat, such
as beef, pork, veal, mutton, and lamb, have been classified as a probable cause of cancer.
Dozens of studies have examined the role of meat in causing prostate cancer. For example, in a
case-control study conducted at Harvard University involved nearly 15,000 male physicians, the
investigators found that men who consumed red meat at least five times a week had a relative
risk of 2.5 for developing prostate cancer when compared with men who ate red meat less than
once a week.

In a subsequent study of more than 175,000 men spanning 1995 to 2003, the researchers
evaluated the meat consumption of the participants, including the type of meat consumed and
how it was cooked. By 2003, 10,313 men had developed prostate cancer, and 419 of these had
died. The authors found that after they adjusted for factors known to increase the risk of prostate
cancer, they discovered that “men who ate the most red meat were 12 percent more likely to
develop prostate cancer and 33 percent more likely to have advanced cancer than those who ate
the least amount of red meat”.

The same study also found that processed meats are associated with a higher risk of prostate
cancer. When the authors compared red processed meats (e.g., bacon, bologna) with white
varieties (e.g., processed turkey slices) the red meats were linked to a greater cancer risk than the
white meats. Processed and cured meats also contain nitrates, which are preservatives added to
meats such as cold cuts and bacon. These preservatives are associated with an increased risk of
prostate cancer.

When meat (especially red) is cooked at very high temperatures, compounds called heterocyclic
amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed. These compounds
have been linked to various cancers in humans. A Vanderbilt University study in the journal
Nutrition and Cancer evaluated the relationship between consumption of well-done meat and
meat carcinogen exposure with the risk of cancer. The results from this study show that high
intake of well-done meat and high exposure to carcinogens in meat, especially HCAs, may
increase the risk of cancer, including prostate cancer.

A National Cancer Institute study also examined the associations between meat consumption,
iron, nitrite/nitrate, and prostate cancer in a group of 175,343 men aged 50 to 71 years. During a
nine-year follow-up period, the researchers identified 10,313 cases of prostate cancer and 419
deaths from prostate cancer. When they evaluated the consumption of red and processed meat,
the researchers found that iron, barbecued and grilled meat were all associated with total and
advanced prostate cancer, while nitrites and nitrates were associated with advanced prostate

A high-fat diet raises levels of estrogen in the body, and fat cells harbor estrogen. Therefore men
who have a high intake of fat, which is abundant in meat and other animal products, risk raising
their estrogen levels and thus the possibility of prostate cancer. In the December 2010 issue of
Nutrition and Cancer, the authors evaluated data regarding intake of red meat, fat, garlic, and
tomato/tomato products for 194 men who had prostate cancer and 317 healthy controls. They
found a significant trend of increasing risk of prostate cancer associated with intake of dietary
fat, as well as an increased risk with dietary red meat, along with a protective effect from
tomatoes and garlic.
About two-thirds of the cattle raised in the United States are given hormones, including
testosterone and estrogen, because it increases both their growth and meat yield. These hormones
are then passed along to individuals who consume these products. Hormone residues in food may
promote the development of prostate cancer in men.

Another hormone found in meat and dairy products may also increase the risk of prostate cancer:
insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). A University of Oxford team conducted a review of 12
studies that included nearly 9,000 men and discovered that men who had high blood levels of
IGF-1 were up to 40 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who had low levels
of the hormone.

You can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer by following a diet that limits or eliminates
meat and focusing on high-fiber, low-fat, nutrient-rich sources of protein. A diversified plant-
based diet can provide all the protein and other essential macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and
fiber to support and maintain health and help prevent prostate cancer. Plant foods that provide
good to excellent amounts of protein include dried beans (e.g., black, kidney, pinto, red), lentils,
split peas, fermented soy, amaranth, quinoa, kamut, buckwheat, and others. These foods also
provide high amounts of fiber, which can help eliminate cancer-causing toxins from the body.

Red meat increases risk of prostate cancer, especially when grilled at high temperatures Men
who eat a lot of red meat are 2.3 times more likely than men who do not eat read meat to develop
aggressive prostate cancer. When BBQ meat is charred at high temperatures over an open flame,
a reaction occurs that causes two chemicals to form: heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS). These carcinogens have been shown to cause prostate cancer as
well as other types of cancer.

Sugar may taste good, but that’s where the “good” part ends. Along with the empty calories
sugar contributes to the diet, it is also believed by many experts to fuel cancer cell growth,
among them Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, former vice president of Nutrition for Cancer Treatment
Centers of America.

Whether sugar directly causes cancer is uncertain. What is certain, though, is that too much sugar
can lead to other disorders such as obesity and insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome that can be
a high risk factor for cancer. If you want something sweet, choose fresh fruit, nature’s natural


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